Orlando is a very popular family vacation destination and offers many different kinds of lodging options. Where you stay can be a huge factor in how well your trip goes. So before you plan your next trip, consider these five helpful tips to narrow down the choices and help your family find where to stay in Orlando.

Condos are a possible option for where to stay in Orlando

Mystic Dunes Resort in Orlando, Florida. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

When planning a family vacation to Orlando, there are a lot of things to consider. One of the biggest decisions that you’ll make is where to stay. Do you want to look at hotels close to the theme parks? Or on-property resorts? Vacation rental homes? Or 3-bedroom condos in Orlando? There’s so much to consider that it can be an overwhelming process.

The good news is that Orlando offers all of the above, and more. There are a myriad of options in all sizes, locations and price points. But what is the best choice for your family? That depends on what your plans are and what your family needs. Here are five helpful tips to narrow down where to stay in Orlando.

1) Consider transportation and parking needs when determining location.

If your family is driving to Orlando, or will have a rental car available during your stay, then you might want to look into properties that are a little further out from the theme parks in order to save on lodging. Don’t forget to check parking costs though, as they can quickly add up. A less expensive room or condo may end up being more expensive in total if parking isn’t included.

If you won’t have a car to use, then make sure you check to see if the properties you’re considering offer shuttles to the theme parks you’re planning to visit. Are the shuttles free, or is there a cost? How often do shuttles run? One benefit of staying onsite at Disney is the free transportation, but many other properties offer shuttles to the parks as well. Once you’re at one Disney park, you can use their transportation to visit any other of the parks, as well as Disney Springs.

When deciding where to stay in Orlando, consider a 2-bedroom condo with plenty of space for families.

My daughter Hannah shows off ‘her’ bed in a 2-bedroom condo in Orlando. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

2) Size matters. So does having room to spread out.

If you’re going to be spending a week (or more) together with your family, make sure that there’s plenty of room where you’re staying. Yes, a family of four will fit in a traditional hotel room with two double or queen beds. But will you be comfortable? Will there be enough space for luggage, toys, and everything else that you’ll bring with you?

Having room to spread out can make the difference between a stressful and a relaxing vacation. Consider looking at 2-bedroom condos in Orlando instead of a single hotel room. That way you can put the kids to bed in one room and still have room (and privacy!) to relax in the evenings.

Larger families may want to consider checking out Orlando Vacation Rentals for options with even more space. Our family of five rarely fits into a single hotel room together. When we have stayed in a single room, we’re always feeling squished and on top of each other. On our last family trip to Orlando, we stayed first in a single room at a Disney resort and then in a 2-bedroom condo at a local off-site resort. The difference was night and day between our moods and ability to relax and enjoy ourselves.

Pools and other amenities are important to consider when deciding where to stay in Orlando.

My daughters enjoying pool time in Orlando. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

3) ‘Down’ time is your friend – make sure have activities to keep kids busy.

This is probably the best tip that I can offer to anyone visiting Orlando. Yes, you want to squeeze as much in as you can while you’re there. But nobody is going to have any fun if they’re all so tired from going and going that everyone ends up grouchy and irritable. Plan for some down time, either during the afternoons or even a full day in between theme parks. This is a also great way to accommodate nap time for babies or younger children.

Do your kids love to swim? Make sure that your lodging has a pool or water park available. Many hotels or resorts also offer crafts or other activities for kids as well. Having a Plan B to use during down time or any potential rainy days can keep everyone from getting on each others’ nerves.

Kitchen facilities are a big help for families when deciding where to stay in Orlando.

Full kitchen in a 2-bedroom condo in Orlando. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

4) A full kitchen can make meal (and snack) time easier.

Many hotels offer some form of kitchen facilities, whether a small fridge, a microwave or both. But having access to a full kitchen gives you a lot more opportunity to customize meals for your family – not to mention saving money by not needing to eat out for every meal either! You can make healthier options for your family and accommodate relaxed meal schedules that often happen when on vacation.

Along with kitchen facilities vacation resort residences also provide eat-in dining such as a table and chairs and/or breakfast bar. Small kids don’t always eat neatly and aren’t used to sitting on a hotel bed to eat. Having a table to eat a bowl of cereal at can be the difference between sleeping in a wet, sticky bed or a dry, comfortable one.

Having a table and chairs for meals can be helpful when families are deciding where to stay in Orlando.

My youngest daughter enjoying breakfast on the screened-in deck at a rental condo in Orlando. Photo credit: Deb Steenhagen / TravelingMom with Daughters

5) Choose what will work best for YOUR family.

There are many options for where to stay in Orlando – and there are just as many opinions as to what is the best choice. Your neighbor may have loved the hotel their family stayed at last year. Or your co-worker raves about how wonderful their vacation was at X resort. And those are definitely worth checking out. But in the end, it’s your family, and your vacation. So you need to choose the best option that will work for you and your family.

Vacatia wants your family to have the best possible vacation too. They’ve curated a list of resort residences in Orlando, and elsewhere, that offer family-friendly conveniences at a  great value. Consider checking them out when planning your next vacation to see if they have the right fit for where to stay in Orlando with your family.

Choices abound when deciding where to stay in Orlando. See these 5 helpful tips when planning your next family vacation to Orlando!

Photo courtesy of Vacatia.

This post was sponsored by Vacatia. All opinions stated here are 100% my own.